Christians in Pakistan Struggle Amid Locust and COVID-19 Crisis
06/28/2020 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – According to Mission Network News, Christian sharecroppers in southern Pakistan have been deeply affected by locust swarms, destroying their crops and livelihoods. Due to the crisis, discrimination has been reported against Christians as they have been told to abandon their faith in order to receive help.
Last week, Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) reported locust swarms in nearly one-third of the country’s districts, destroying crops and livelihoods.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic over the last three months, families were short of resources and any earnings. Now, with the locust crisis, they don’t have anything left, Mission Network News reports.
“What happens though…when the locusts come through, they destroy absolutely everything,” Jonathan, a Christian from Pakistan, told Mission Network News. “So, these people have gone into debt to pay for all those inputs, and now there’s no crop. They don’t eat if there’s no crop.”
Christians, as a minority community in Pakistan, are usually last or not considered to receive government aid.
“Christians are sort of at the bottom … and there have been many reports of discrimination against Christians, even in efforts to help people who’ve been affected by these crises,” Jonathan explained to Mission Network News.
“Christians have been told, ‘Unless you become a Muslim or recite the Muslim creed, we’re not going to help you’,” Jonathan continued. “I don’t think that’s official government policy, but it’s been happening. We’ve had many, many reports of that.”
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